I struggle with fear. Often, I will appear strong and in control, but inside I tend to fret about what people are thinking, what they might do, and what might be the consequences of their actions. And I often base my actions, or inaction, on these musings rather than on the clear will of God and the advice of good counselors and friends. To be sure, my fears are based on lots of experience, so they don’t come out of nowhere, but they’re fears nonetheless.
Sometime ago, while meditating on Isaiah 41 and 43, the Lord taught me a very important lesson that went pretty deeply into my heart. The lesson is this: faith triumphs over fear.
Here’s what Isaiah wrote, I encourage you to read this prayerfully and carefully: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (41:10).
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (43:1-3).
We who believe in Christ and follow him day by day have no reason to fear anything or anyone. Why? Only because...
- The Lord Almighty is our God, and he is infinitely strong and able.
- The Lord our God is with us—literally with us.
- The Lord has promised to strengthen us, and therefore our strength is very great.
- The Lord has promised to help us, and therefore our help is very great.
- The Lord has promised to uphold us, and therefore we shall never ultimately fall.
- The Lord has redeemed us and called us by name—he has made us to be his own.
- The Lord has promised that when we pass through water and walk through fire he will be greater than these things and protect us from them.
- The Lord is our God, the Holy One of Israel is our Savior—our God, our Savior!
Therefore, if the Lord is our God, we have no reason to fear anything or anyone. His perfect love in us casts out all fear. So if we fear, it’s a sign that our love for God, or our understanding of his love for us, has yet to be perfected. If we fear, the solution is to turn from our fears and toward our hope. It's to look to God and seek God and grow in love for God until our fear evaporates into the light of his glory.
Indeed, faith triumphs over fear.
So let us look to the Lord today. Let us allow him to take our fears away. Let us open our hearts to him and learn what it means to say that perfect love casts out fear. Lord, please help us as we seek you.